Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying global adjustments, part of Nik 2018 Software Essential Training.
- [Instructor] When you process a photo in Silver Efex Pro, in many respects, you're essentially removing the color from the photo, and that makes the overall tonality, the texture, contrast, luminescence levels, that tonal information becomes much more important. And so a big part of the adjustments you might apply in Silver Efex Pro are the Global Adjustments, which include: Brightness, Contrast, Structure, as well as Tonality Protection. Based on the preset that you may have selected for an image, you'll see that those adjustments have different values.
So, the key thing is to start with a preset that represents a good starting point for the image and then refining from there. So for example, I could adjust the overall brightness for the full image by either dragging the Brightness slider to the right to increase the brightness or to the left to darken. So maybe in this case, I want a little bit more dramatic interpretation of the photo, so I might reduce brightness just a little bit. In addition, you'll notice that there is a triangular icon to the left of Brightness. That is a spinner control that we can click on to reveal additional controls for brightness.
In other words, to focus our brightness, in this case, on specific tonal ranges within the image. And so I could lighten or darken just the brightest areas of the photo, the Highlights. I could also lighten or darken the Middletone values, and I can lighten or darken just the Shadows. So in this case, maybe darkening up the shadows just a little bit to add some drama to the photo. There's also a Dynamic Brightness control, which you can think of as essentially a smart brightness control.
It's adjusting brightness and contrast, essentially, at the same time, so that we don't get as much of a washed out appearance, for example, when we brighten the image, or we don't block up the shadows quite as quickly when we're darkening the image. Next we have a Contrast control. So again, we can increase or decrease the value to increase or decrease contrast. And once again, we have a spinner where we can see additional controls. So amplifying the whites to add emphasis to those white values in terms of contrast, amplifying the blacks, or really darkening up the darkest values, once again, to enhance overall contrast with a bit more control than a simple contrast slider.
And then also, Soft Contrast, which we can use to apply, again, a somewhat intelligent interpretation of contrast where we're adding contrast or subtracting contrast but without getting an image that looks a little bit too processed. And then we have the Structure control, and this can be thought of as being very similar to sharpening. As I increase structure, we'll see the image sort of look a bit more sharp. In other words, the texture is enhanced, and I could reduce the value to create a little bit more of a sort of hazy look for the image.
I find that generally I like to increase the structure value at least a little bit to emphasize the textures in a photo. And once again we see that there are some more fine tuning controls if we click that spinner next to the Structure slider. And that allows us to adjust that Structure, based on just the Highlight values, based on the Middletone values, or based on the Shadow values in the photo. And then there is a Fine Structure, which actually takes Structure a little bit closer to an actual sharpening type of effect, in other words enhancing texture among the very finest details in the photo.
And then we have our Tonality Protection sliders. These allow us to protect the Shadows so they're not getting affected as much by our overall adjustment, or to protect the Highlight so that, for example, we're not blowing out highlight detail. All of these various controls, of course, are focused on tonality, on texture, on brightness, on contrast, for example, and those are all referred to as our Global Adjustments for the black and white image we're creating here within Silver Efex Pro.
So you can see that with those Global Adjustments, you can work at a very basic level with the baseline sliders for Brightness, Contrast, and Structure, or get more sophisticated with your adjustments by taking a look at those fine-tuning controls.
- Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements workflows
- Working with presets
- Adding multiple filters in Color Efex Pro
- Applying global adjustments in Viveza
- Applying film effects in Silver Efex Pro
- Applying lens distortion in Analog Efex Pro
- Adjusting overall tonality with HDR Efex Pro
- Reducing noise with Dfine
- Applying output sharpening with Sharpener Pro